Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Out with the old...
The past few days I have been trying to organize my thoughts into something profound enough to measure up to even the most hastily prepared posts offered by my kin thus far on this site. First, I started to compile a list of the most talent featured in an NBA playoff series since 1998, but knew my research would pale in comparison to John and Dave’s All-Time Alumni Rankings. Then I set out to analyze the Bonds trial, but was sure that Charlie would rip into it unless my thesis was more developed. These posts may yet come to fruition, but my first had to be better. The Collective has set the bar sky-high.
|Think Mao would have gone for|
FreeDarko's praise-the-individual ideal?
That was the thing about FreeDarko: they changed the conversation. For so long, the variations to the standard sports column have been limited to two options: A) Make contrarian statement and defend it no matter how flawed the reasoning, and B) Fawn incessantly over athlete/team/small-town one-armed middle school golfer (At least 60% of Rick Reilly’s articles since 1992). But with FreeDarko, sports commentary was no longer limited to adversarial jockeying. Instead, they reached out into the depths of hip hop culture, of literature, of social science to describe a game we thought we knew. Luckily for all of us, the popularity of those two books and the blog have turned the members of the collective into new media superstars. So while the site may get boarded up soon, you can find Shoals all over the internet, and Big Baby Belafonte, the site’s chief illustrator, recently completed a billboard in LA that is truly breathtaking.
I remember the first time I read FireJoeMorgan.com, a treasure trove of systematic sports journalism skewers, and felt as though I had opened up the secret door in the attic (is that the right phrase?). The guys behind that blog, a well-educated collective who turned out to be the writers and producers of such shows as The Office and Parks and Recreation, didn’t just curse the idiocy of ESPN’s biggest baseball analyst. They actually used literary devices, comedy and advanced statistics to prove that the Worldwide Leader in Sports was feeding us dog crap at least three nights a week. When FJM bowed out of the blogging game in 2008, I mourned the loss of a pioneer. Yesterday was not dissimilar. And so it is with the departure of one inspiration that I debut here, eager to join a new Collective that has already set a pace worthy of its namesake.